Open Arms Therapy (OAT) - Dalhart (TX) equine therapy for the disabled

Abby Amador & Slatton Murdock

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Slayton leading Cricket

Brother and Sister volunteer with OAT

Slayton Murdock and Abbi Amador are the son and daughter of Karen and TJ Stuchlik and grandson and grand-daughter of OAT Director, Cindy Hiner.   Both children volunteer with the Open Arms Therapy (OAT) program in Dalhart. 

Slayton will be a sophomore at the Dalhart High School in August.  He has been a volunteer off and on since the program began in 2009.  Over the years; Slayton has learned to feed, groom and saddle the horses for riding sessions.  He can also help load and unload them if they need to be transported by trailer.  He helps lead the horses or side-walk with the participants whenever he is needed.  Helping with the OAT program has allowed Slayton to learn how to be responsible, reliable, self motivated, confident, and it has helped improve his interpersonal skills.  Slayton has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).  By volunteering with the program he has also benefited from the program.  In addition to improved social and leadership skills; Slayton has learned to appreciate the gifts and talents he has by helping with others who are less fortunate. Slayton truly enjoys helping others and he loves horses as well.  Slayton also enjoys fishing, hiking, and skateboarding.

Abbi Amador is 5 years old.  Abbi loves to follow her Grandmother around and has learned how to help out with the horses.  Cindy said ‘she is involved with everything from getting everything ready for the session to putting the horses up and feeding them when session is over.’ Abbi loves to be around other children and as many young girls are; she is infatuated with horses!  In addition to her volunteer work; Abbi also participates in the program.  Her association with the program, as a volunteer and a participant, gives her an opportunity to enjoy horses and other kids.  Abbi has autism and she struggles with social abilities.  Volunteering with OAT has helped her with structured and repetitive responsibilities and it has also helped her to warm up to people. Indirectly, the improvements she has made through volunteering for OAT has helped her do better in school.

Abby catching Tibby to get ready for session

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